Christmas culinary traditions differ from nation to nation, but you'd probably be hard-pressed to find one more surprising than the one in Japan. On December 25th, residents of the island nation line up to buy buckets of KFC for their yuletide celebrations.In fact, some forward thinking Japanese folks go as far as to pre-order the Christmas party barrels up to two months in advance, so they can make sure they get to enjoy the Colonel's deep fried delicacies on Christmas.

The tradition started in 1974, when KFC (formerly Kentucky Fried Chicken) launched a "Kentucky For Christmas" ad campaign in Japan. The success of that slogan is part of the reason why there are now more than 1200 KFC's in Japan -- although that's apparently still not enough when Christmas comes around.

These days, KFC has become so linked to Japanese Christmas tradition that some Airlines serves the chain's chicken and biscuits on overseas flights during the holiday season.

The tradition can be a bit baffling to Americans, because while we scarf our fair share of KFC, we tend to go in other directions when it's time for presents and mistletoe. On the other hand, KFC is way more delicious than canned ham, so maybe we're the dumb ones. Plus, Colonel Sanders does like look a lot like Santa Claus. Okay that may be a stretch, but he certainly looks more like Santa Claus than Ronald McDonald does, and we're probably hitting up the golden arches for our Christmas dinner.

We don't need your pity. (Please invite us over.)

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